MOSCOW, December 9 (RIA Novosti) – Eleven Russian diplomats in the United States who were charged with medical care fraud will shortly leave the country, a Russian newspaper reported Monday.
US prosecutors alleged last week that dozens of Russian diplomats and their spouses had defrauded the country’s medical system of $1.5 million since 2004.
Of the 49 Russian defendants, 38 are already in different postings. The remaining 11 will have their US postings cut short and will soon leave the United States, Russian daily Kommersant reported.
The defendants still in the US include five diplomats working at the Russian Mission to the United Nations, and their five spouses. The other defendant is employed at the Russian Embassy in Washington.
All of the defendants have diplomatic immunity, and none have been arrested, US prosecutors said last week.
Russia said Friday that the case was an attempt to take revenge for “issues unrelated to bilateral relations.”
US prosecutors claimed that between 2004 and August 2013, the defendants declared false incomes or fraudulently claimed that their children were US citizens in order to obtain Medicaid benefits associated with costs for pregnancy and childcare.
During the same period, the defendants spent “tens of thousands of dollars” on luxury vacations and expensive watches, clothes, shoes and jewelry at luxury retailers like Prada and Tiffany & Co., the US Attorney’s Office said.